I stared blankly at the pages of my Bible. Neon colors stared back at me, highlighting different verses that had resonated in some way over the years. They surely weren’t registering as anything profound in that moment. My mind was full of noise; overwhelming thoughts playing duck-duck-goose with frustration. In one ear I could hear the advice of friends and family mixed with lessons learned from the past. In the other I heard questions. So many questions.
Nothing made sense.
I was in a place of uncertainty – my least favorite place to be. There were some big decisions hanging over my head and I was running out of time to make them. For weeks I had been begging God to give me answers. I had what felt like 1/4 of a next step, but I couldn’t wrap my mind around making such a big decision – the right decision – with so little to go on. Peace seemed to be hiding in a dark alley that common sense and reason warned me to steer clear of (by common sense and reason I mean other people’s. Mine are usually on vacation).
Suddenly one little word jumped out of the pages at me: “wisdom”. Oh, great. Thanks God. I thought sarcastically. Thanks for reiterating exactly what I’m asking you for; the very thing you’re not giving me. [Insert praise because He is so very patient]
I kept reading. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. All those who practice it have a good understanding.” (Psalm 111:10)
Wait a minute… I gazed out the window, mind blown and I’m sure making a notoriously weird facial expression. What if wisdom isn’t always something that makes sense? God spoke so clearly to my heart in that moment.
“You are seeking something that makes sense. But true wisdom – My wisdom – is not always understood in the moment.”
There’s a difference between Godly wisdom and human sense.
Humans have created our own idea of wisdom. We define it as something we can understand; clarity within the parameters of what we can see. We exhaust ourselves trying to find answers and blame God when we can’t find them. But we may have it slightly backwards.
Psalm 111 tells us where to start in our quest for wisdom: the fear of the Lord. When we embrace that – when we recognize His sovereignty and trust Him with the unknown – an understanding follows.
Hold on. Don’t let your inner problem-solver get too excited. He had more to say.
“Understanding isn’t always tangible knowledge. Sometimes understanding lies in simply knowing who I am; accepting what I say as ultimate truth and choosing to walk in a reality that isn’t based on the understanding of human minds.”
Dangit. Godly wisdom and understanding don’t always align with human comprehension. Seriously? WHAT the heck am I supposed to do with that? I couldn’t help but laugh because I could literally picture God doing the same.
Godly understanding doesn’t always align with human comprehension.
As I shut my Bible I skimmed over a familiar verse and God threw in some closing remarks that tied it all together (well, as tied together as confusion-infused clarity and clueless certainty can be).
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart…Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:3-8)
1. “‘Faithfulness’ means faithful to Me, not to human understanding.”
2. “‘Straight’ doesn’t mean straight according to what you can see. To me, straight doesn’t mean there won’t be earthly turns. Straight means straight to where I am taking you.”
It turns out wisdom and understanding take more faith than they do discovery.
When we step out in faith and trust the wisdom of God we gain a deeper understanding of His faithfulness and that is, after all, what this life’s about.
- “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives it generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him*. But let him ask in faith, without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind**. For that person must not suppose (believe?) he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” James 1:5-8
- “The wise of heart will receive commandments” Proverbs 10:8